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U.S. state tax per pack of cigarettes by state 2020

As of July 1, 2020, the Northeast United States lead the nation in tax rates on cigarettes. The District of Columbia was the overall leader, imposing a 4.5 dollars tax per pack of cigarettes. New York and Connecticut followed suit, with both states tacking on 4.35 dollars of tax per pack of cigarettes sold. In New York City the total cost of a pack of cigarettes has risen to an average of 13 dollars. In 2019, New York received over 2 billion U.S. dollars from tobacco tax revenue and tobacco legal settlement payments.

The relationship between taxes and smoking rates

States, like New York and Connecticut, use tax on cigarettes as a means to curb smoking among citizens. There is a clear inverse relationship between the price of a pack and cigarettes sales. Since prices have risen across the nation since the mid 1990’s, due mostly to tax increases, cigarette sales have drastically declined. According to the CDC, smoking increases one’s chance of developing lung cancer by 25 times, cardiovascular disease by 4 times, and death from a chronic obstructive lung disease by 13 times. Improving the lives of its citizens and reducing the burden on the health care system both factor into states’ desires to curb smoking. States that have some of the lowest taxes on cigarettes, like West Virginia, Kentucky, and Arkansas, tend to have the highest smoking rates in the country. Comparing Missouri, the state with the lowest cigarette taxes in the nation, with New York, the trend is obvious. Roughly 23 percent of Missouri’s population are smokers compared to 15.5 percent of New York’s. While cigarette sales have declined due to taxes, health authorities are concerned about the rise of vaping and electronic cigarettes. E-cigarettes are often seen as a safer alternative to smoking and are currently the most used tobacco product by high school students. Most states do not currently apply an excise tax to their sale.

State tax per pack of cigarettes in the United States as of 2020*, by state

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Source

Release date

September 2020

Region

United States

Survey time period

2020

Supplementary notes

*as of July 1, 2020.

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